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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Merchandising the Church

For some time now I have been sharing at Church the teachings of Jesus. What He taught directly and indirectly. I am doing this by tracing His steps through the Bible lands and teaching what He was saying or doing.

I start with Jesus in Jerusalem during the Passover:

Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Then His disciples remembered that it was written, t “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up. John 2:17

Jesus came to the temple and found a group offering their services of providing animals for sacrifice, for a price, and exchanging “heathen” money for temple coinage. It is assumed they are cheating the worshippers. But Jesus makes only one accusation. They were merchandising the House of God. They were making money off the worshippers for a profit. Now I’ll not mention what Keith Green calls Jesus Junk”. Which are items made for sale to Christians. Cheaply made trinkets with a fish or dove stamped on it. But I speaking of instead of allowing the Church to allow the Holy Spirit to draw worshippers, but Churches advertising services that they supply in order to draw other Christians away from their Churches or fellowships. Depending on a good marketing firm to gain attendance is a current popular trend. I see Jesus really having a problem with this. They are trusting worldly ways to grow a Church. Now I have seen some of these Churches gaining attendance and some even getting saved and baptized. I’m not going to judge them in this. I think the Lord will not turn people away when their hearts are in the right place, or until the Lord reveals the truth to them. Some are doing this because it is the only way they know.

Here in these verses, the Lord is showing how He feels about this practice. In case you did not know, this is the first of two times the Lord does this. The second time, the Jewish leaders put a price on His head. Maybe the Lord is allowing this in our Churches now and soon these worldly Christians reached by worldly ways will mature and become disciples in Christ. The Lord is patent, He had seen these people in the people many times before, but when it was time to change, He showed the way. Maybe He spoke against this practice when He was speaking to the teachers back when he was 12 and got left in Jerusalem by His parents. So carry on in the name of the Lord, but when the time comes to change Bride’s ways, it is time. Let’s get the same zeal for the House of God as Jesus had. When the Groom comes for the Bride, He wants her in a wedding gown, not a sales apron.